CAIRO, July 30. /TASS/. An interagency delegation from Russia has completed its evaluation of the epidemiological situation in Egypt before the resumption of air service between Russian cities and Egyptian resorts on August 9, a source in Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation told TASS on Friday.
"The Russian delegation completed yesterday an evaluation of the level of anti-epidemic measures at Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada airports and today is leaving Cairo for Moscow," the source said.
According to him, during the last several days the Russian commission, in addition to the airports, has been evaluating the degree of readiness of hotels and tourist villages. In the near future, the delegation will submit a report on the situation to Russian authorities.
The source also stressed that "a decrease in the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt lately indicates the safety and efficacy of the anti-epidemic measures undertaken in the country."
Egypt, with a population of over 100 mln, since the beginning of the pandemic has recorded 284,170 coronavirus infections with 229,167 patients having recovered. Some 16,514 patients died of complications. In general, the coronavirus situation has stabilized somewhat countrywide. If in May - early June, over 1,000 new infections were being recorded daily, now the daily growth of the new infections has decreased to 30-50 cases.
On July 23, the anti-coronavirus crisis center reported that air services with the Egyptian resorts on the Moscow-Hurghada and Moscow-Sharm El Sheikh destinations would be resumed on August 9. Earlier, Russia’s sanitary watchdog reported that Russia would send an interagency delegation to Egypt in order to evaluate the epidemic situation in the country, the preventive measures at the accommodations for tourists as well as capabilities of labs and medical facilities.
On resuming air service
All flights between Russia and Egypt were completely suspended in November 2015 after a passenger jet owned by Russia’s Kogalymavia airline bound from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg exploded over the Sinai carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members, killing everyone on board. The Federal Security Service (FSB) ruled the incident as a terrorist attack.
In January 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to resume regular flights to Cairo. However, the charter connection with Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh has remained suspended. Over recent years, the Egyptian side has beefed up its systems of inspections, controls, and checks of passengers and luggage in addition to modernizing its airport infrastructure.
On July 8, Putin struck down the 2015 decree which banned flights to Egypt’s resorts operated by Russian airlines.